Stepping Out at the Dome

The holidays are upon us, but that doesn’t mean your workouts should stop.

And a local walking program is doing its part to keep U.P. residents on the move.

ABC 10’s Jen Cleary has the details.

Getting a good workout is a priority for many people, but in a climate like ours, where you work out becomes just as much of a priority.

But thanks to a collaborative effort between Marquette General Health System, Blue Cross Blue Shield and Northern Michigan University, the Superior Dome walking program heads into its third year promoting healthy living throughout the U.P.

NMU President Dr. Les Wong says it’s a simple idea, and since the three entities got together, their partnership has been a big success.

Prior to the partnership, walkers paid a fee to use the Dome, but that revenue wasn’t creating enough to keep the facility open.

MGH and Blue Cross now split with NMU the $20,000 annual cost to keep the Dome open for walking year-round.

Marquette General CEO Gary Muller says initiatives like the walking program are a big part of the health system’s mission of promoting community wellness.

Michael Fedrizzi of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan says with cold temperatures and snowdrifts present for more than four months at a time, many people wouldn’t be very active without programs like the walking program at the Dome.

He says it’s a bonus for Blue Cross to have the 300 or so walkers per day that pound the pavement inside the Dome.

One of those walkers is Rebecca Olds, an Ishpeming resident who is grateful to have the Dome since it’s one of the few places she is able to work out.

Olds is a cancer survivor — she had an abdominal tumor that had to be removed, and because of circulatory problems, she had to have one of her legs amputated.

She now visits the Dome a couple of times a week to walk and wheel around the track.

Rebecca says the temperature conditions are perfect, and she’s glad she doesn’t have to watch her steps on the even surface.

MGH, Blue Cross Blue Shield and NMU say they’re committed to keeping the resource available for up residents.

The Dome is open for free walking Monday through Thursday from 6 am to 10 pm and Friday from 6 am to 5 pm.